Question: How can a person detach himself emotionally from irritating people and situations?

Sri Chinmoy: First, you have to identify yourself with the standards of the person who is creating the irritation. Suppose you are in your office and somebody is creating unnecessary problems. If you get angry with him, that will not solve the problem. Instead, you will be tortured inwardly by your anger and outwardly by the person. If you allow yourself to become angry, you will only lose your own inner strength. But if you come down to the standard of that person and identify with him, you will see that he himself is very unhappy and therefore wishes consciously or unconsciously to make others unhappy as well. The moment you identify with the person who is creating the situation, you will see that there is nothing to be gained by irritation. Half of your irritation will go away. It will feel that half of its domain is now captured by something: identification. When you identify yourself with the lowest standard of the person who is creating this undivine disturbance in you, your presence inside that person’s ignorance will take away half the strength of his attack.

Another way to avoid becoming involved in irritating situations is to invoke Peace. For the spiritual person, for the sincere seeker it is always advisable to bring down Peace from Above. While invoking peace you will feel enormous strength inside you and around you. The power of inner peace is infinitely greater, more solid and concrete, than any outer situation created by anybody on earth. Your inner peace can easily devour the irritation caused by somebody else. If you are in the office, it is difficult to invoke peace. If you pray before others, they will mock at you. They will misunderstand you. But if there is a quiet corner where you can meditate undisturbed by others and bring down peace, then you can do it even in your office. Otherwise, the best thing to do is to invoke peace during your morning and evening meditations, and keep that peace locked inside your heart to be used during the day whenever you need it most.